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Mr. RAMSPECK. The only difficulty with the Gate City, I understand, Mr. Peel, is the question of recognition and dealing with the union?
Mr. PEEL. No, sir; Gate City Mills is using the stretch-out, which means that the workers have been cut below the minimum, and some workers on longer hours.
Mr. RAMSPECK. The reason I asked specifically about that mill is because the manager of that mill told me about the time that they had the hearing before the Labor Board, or the regional officials in Atlanta, that he was paying above the code wages at that time and that his only difficulty was the question of dealing with the union, and he claimed the union did not represent a majority of his employees. That is the only one that I have any information about personally, and he did make that statement to me. Now, what is the situation about Fulton Bag?
Mr. PEEL. Will you pardon me while I say something about the Gate City?
Mr. RAMSPECK. Yes.
Mr. PEEL. Of course, I am assuming that he is perfectly honest and a nice gentleman, but if he was in doubt as to whether those who came to see him as a committee of the workers were representing a majority, he could have let the election go on, and then it would have determined whether the local union had a majority or not.
Mr. RAMSPECK. I want to state to you in all frankness that I think probably the reason he did not do that that other people engaged in this same line of industry wanted to make a test case of the Wagner-Connery bill, and, while he did not tell me this, my own opinion is that they put up the money for the lawyers. I know the lawyers representing the case here in Washington did not come from our part of the country. One of them is the man who represented Schechter Bros. in the N. R. A. case. I think that is the whole story, that they decided this was the first case coming up where there was an election ordered in the mill and they made a test case out of it.
Mr. PEEL. About the minimum wage, I would like to say this too. There is some question about the minimum wage. The employer said, "I am paying the minimum wage”, but he does not say in the same breath, or tell you at the same time, “Well, while I am maintaining code standards and paying the minimum wage, yet, I have reduced weavers who made $16 or $17 a week down to $13."
That is not maintaining code standards. If a weaver is making $16 or $17 a week and he has been gradually reduced to the point where he is making $12.50 or $13, just because the employer is paying that wearer $12 does not mean that he is maintaining code standards. That means he has reduced the weavers $4 or $5 a week. Now, you asked about the Fulton?
Mr. RAYSFECK. Yes; the Fulton Bag.
Vír. PEEL. The Fulton Bag report mentioned increased work and lower daily wage of all productive records, increasing the hours of all productive workers. In the Piedmont Cotton Vills of Atlanta the hours are 60 per week. I do not know whether that is in your district or not.
Mr. RAMSPECK. Yes; it is.
Mr. Wood. A week? And they worked 40 before?
Mr. RAMSPECK. The Fulton Bag is opposed to this bill as they were to the Wagner-Connery bill, and the chief executive in the organization was, I have been told I do not know this of my own knowledge but I have been told-gunning for me politically because of my support of the Wagner-Connery bill. I do know this, that living conditions around the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill are not anything like they ought to be.
Mr. Welch. How long has it been since they increased the hours from 40 to 60?
Mr. PEEL. I think in this particular case it has been done in the past 2 months. I could get that information but I have not got it right at my fingertips. But I think it has been done within the past 2 months.
Mr. KELLER. Since the N. R. A. decision?
Mr. KELLER. I understand all these hours have been increased since the N. R. A. decision?
Mr. PEEL. Yes, sir.
Mr. KELLER. I thank you, Mr. Peel. I shall call to the stand next Mr. Taylor, of the National Textile Labor Relations Board.
STATEMENT OF WALTER C. TAYLOR
Mr. TAYLOR. My name is Walter C. Taylor, technical adviser, National Textile Labor Relations Board.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, a member of your committee, Mr. Ellenbogen, called and asked that I come over and present such information as I could. I can give you such information as you may desire from my records. I do not have a prepared statement in connection with the situation other than gross figures in the way of complaints, and I would be very glad to offer that for your approval if you so desire it.
Mr. KELLER. Certainly.
Mr. TAYLOR. The Textile Labor Relations Board has received through various sources a total of 4,808 complaints; that is, from the time of the creation of the board, September 26, 1934, up until this past Saturday.
Of that number of complaints, 2,566 had to do with labor complaints in this manner: These complaints, or that number of alleged violations of the various labor provisions on the codes that were under the jurisdiction of the Textile Labor Relations Boards, were 7 (a) complaints, discrimination complaints, or call them as you may. Of that number of complaints we have been able through various means to adjust 2,464 through mediation, conciliation, and cooperation with both labor and management.
That, briefly, is a statement with regard to the so-called discrimination complaints.
The other complaints have been grouped under several classifications, but that is the statement in that connection.
Mr. KELLER. Yes; that is good.
Mr. TAYLOR. If there are any questions, sir, I would be very glad to answer them to the best of my ability.
Mr. KELLER. Do you have any questions?
Mr. RAMSPECK. Mr. Taylor, do you have any figures to show how many of those complaints involved the question of wages below the code standards?
Mr. TAYLOR. Can I qualify just a little bit in that connection, please, sir?
Mr. RAMSPECK. Yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. In handling the record part of the work on the board, which has been part of my duties, we have classified our complaints under four major classifications: First, or, as we termed them, the A complaints; they were the complaints that alleged violations of the hour and wage provisions of the code; B complaints were 7 (a) discriminations or labor dispute complaints; C complaints were stretchout complaints or increased work assignments; and D complaints were miscellaneous complaints.
Those complaints have been broken down, and I think that I can answer your question either in toto or in part, as you would prefer it, sir. Mr. KELLER. I think we would like to hear it in toto.
Mr. RAMSPECK. I would like to get an idea of what percentage of complaints involved the question of wages and hours.
Mr. TAYLOR. I may have to do a little bit of adding, sir, but I will try not to. I will take the annual report here, which will give it to you up until last September in one set of figures, and then in the other I can give you the last quarter and up until this last Saturday, I think.
During the first year of the board, from September 26, 1934, to September 30, 1935, we received a total of 4,560 complaints. Of that number, 1,166 were hour and wage complaints; 2,393 were 7 (a) or discrimination complaints; 484 were stretch-out work assignment complaints; 517 were miscellaneous or special complaints which could not fall under either one of the previous classifications.
Mr. RAMSPECK. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. KELLER. Now, if you have the record, what happened in the class A complaints? That would be hours and wages?
Mr. Taylor. That would be hours and wages.
Mr. TAYLOR. Of that number we were able in that year through various means to adjust 1,145.
Mr. KELLER. Out of how many? ?
Mr. Taylor. Out of 1,166. Out of a total of 1,166, we adjusted 1,145.
Mr. KELLER. You got nearly all of them?
Mr. TAYLOR. Now, as to the basis upon which those complaints were adjusted, sir
Mr. WOOD. One thousand one hundred and sixty-six? What type of employers were they?
Mr. TAYLOR. I do not quite understand.
Mr. TAYLOR. All textile; primarily cotton, wool, and silk.
Mr. TAYLOR. One thousand one hundred. We had 1,166 hour and wage complaints, and of that number we adjusted through various means 1,145.
Mr. KELLER. Only 21 that were not adjusted?
Mr. TAYLOR. In adjusting those complaints, the hour and wage complaints were handled on the basis of going into the field and getting from the complainant his story, and then after we got that information we went to the mill and investigated the records and found what the exact status was from the manufacturers. We had on the one side the manufacturer's slant, and on the other hand the employee's slant.
Mr. Wood. In those cases you adjusted, how many were adjusted satisfactorily to the employees? Were all those cases adjusted satisfactorily to the employees
Mr. TAYLOR. I can answer that in this manner: Of the number of complaints—I am speaking of hours and wages, sir-adjusted by payment of wages, that our investigation found that those people were entitled to, was 50.
Mr. Wood. Fifty cases?
Mr. TAYLOR. Fifty complaints or cases, sir. If I may digress there, you speak of cases and I refer to them, sir, as complaints. We considered everything as a complaint, and then developed it into a case later, sir.
Eleven were adjusted by an adjustment in the wage rates. If it was found that the wage rates were incorrect, an adjustment was brought about in 11. One of these employees was dismissed, that being a wage complaint, for refusing to follow instructions. Of the wage complaints, so many of them were dismissed for inefficiency, old age, or perhaps mental condition, and others were investigated and it was found that they did not violate the conditions of the code. • Now, I cannot answer that question in the detail that perhaps you would like to have it through the fact that in our adjustments we have included one general adjustment classification. It can be broken down, sir, if you so desire.
Mr. Wood. These complaints were primarily based, first, upon the refusal of the employer to deal in collective bargaining with his employees?
Mr. KELLER. No; that comes under another heading.
Mr. TAYLOR. That is another section, sir. I understood that we were talking on hour and wage complaints, sir. They were on the basis
Mr. Wood. Do any of the 1,166 complaints that you speak of involve the question of discharge at all?
Mr. KELLER. Not insofar as union activity or collective bargaining is concerned; no, sir. That is carried in a separate group of complaints.
Mr. Wood. Have you any data upon that?
Mr. TAYLOR. Yes, sir. There were 2,354 of those complaints in that classification.
Mr. Wood. How many of those complaints were settled satisfactorily, and, if you have it, how many employees were reinstated that were victimized on account of their union activities?
Mr. TAYLOR. Eleven of those were adjusted on the basis of arbitration; 338 on the basis of mutual agreement; the mills agreed to employ the workers as fast as possible in 387 instances; the complainants were reemployed in 218 instances; the strike was called off by the union in 7 cases; the mill was in bankruptcy in 17 instances; in 31 instances the mill operations had been suspended indefinitely; and 603 were referred to our legal department for development into a case to be heard before our board.
Mr. Wood. Have you any data upon the carrying out of the agreement of the employer to take back the employees as fast as possible? Have you any data upon whether they have carried out their promise
Mr. TAYLOR. I cannot say, sir, whether that has been carried out 100 percent or not; no, sir.
Mr. WELCH. What percentage of textile firms are paying the wage scale as provided in the code under N. R. A.?
Mr. TAYLOR. That I cannot state positively, sir. Our work in that connection was only to handle such complaints as were referred to us. We did not make any investigation as to the number of plants or the number of mills that were adhering to the former code provisions.
Mr. WELCH. It was stated here that something like 92 percent of the firms are paying the wage scale provided for in the code and are working their employees the number of hours provided for under the code.
Mr. TAYLOR. I have no direct information in that connection, sir. My only source of information there would be from the newspapers, which I have seen. Our work did not consist of our going out to make that investigation. Since the termination of the codes we have only been a mediation and conciliation agency.
Mr. WELCH. Who would have that information?
Mr. TAYLOR. That, sir, possibly would be in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I am not positive of that; or there is also, I understand, a study that has been conducted by one of the sections of the former N. R. A. staff, under the direction, I think, of a Mr. Marshall.
Mr. KELLER. I understand that that has been sent to me today for presentation to this committee.
Mr. WELCH. What will the report convey to the committee?
Mr. KELLER. That I do not know, of course. Mr. Marshall, of the N. R. A., as he suggested, has made a study along the line you are talking about, and I asked for it the other day through a friend who is working there, and I understood today from him that the report had been made out and sent to me. It is supposed to be there now on my desk, and if it is I will bring it here tomorrow morning.
Mr. Welch. That is as to the percentage of firms paying the wage scale provided for under the original code?
Mr. KELLER. It will be a very simple matter to ask for that if it is not. If you like, I will ask both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Mr. Marshall for it and be sure to get it.
Mr. Welch. That will carry, of course, the number of hours as compared with the number of hours provided for in the code.